Bulgogi Chicken


Ingredients: Marinade:

  • 4 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Asian toasted sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic (or more, to taste), peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 Tbsp finely chopped green onions
  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds (you can buy these already toasted in an Asian market, or toast them yourself in a dry iron skillet until they turn golden and fragrant)

I have used this marinade for grilled chicken, beef, pork, and salmon.  Anything you can grill works – such as grilled vegetables (onions, peppers, mushrooms, summer squash, bok choy, cabbage wedges, etc.)  I usually double, triple, or quadruple the recipe and keep unused marinade in the fridge for the next time I want a quick marinade.

Original recipe:

  • 1-1/2 pounds sirloin tip, thinly sliced into ½- by-2-inch pieces.
  • 12 romaine or iceberg lettuce leaves
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper.
Directions: Preheat oven to broil or preheat grill.  Broil or grill meat for 2 to 3 minutes per side or until brown.  Place meat on lettuce leaves with 2 teaspoons hot rice and a dash of cayenne pepper per leaf and roll up leaf.  Or slice meat and serve it with vegetable side dishes and rice.To save time and labor, I’ve introduced some shortcuts.  Rather than slicing the meat, marinating and then grilling it, I marinate a whole sirloin steak, ribeye steak, beef tenderloin, pork loin, pork chops, or boneless chicken pieces for about 3 hours, then grill it on a gas or charcoal grill, then slice after grilling.  If it has 3 hours in the marinade, it will be well-flavored and it’s easier to turn a larger piece of meat than small individual slices.  If you don’t have 3 hours to marinate, then slicing the meat before putting it in the marinate will infuse it with the marinade in a shorter time (1-2 hours).

If you don’t have a grill, you can pan-grill it in an iron skillet or in the broiler.  The trick is not to overcook it.  Grilling boneless chicken pieces takes only a few minutes per side, depending on how large the pieces are.

Garnishing:  the recipe originally did not call for orange slices; I add them to the platter for a punch of flavor and color.  If you don’t want to bother with trying to roll up the lettuce leaves, you can also add shredded lettuce to the serving platter.  Garnishing with black and/or white sesame seeds and thinly sliced fresh green onions is also nice.

I prefer to serve with jasmine rice but plain steamed white rice works too.

Notes: Several people have asked for the recipe for “the chicken with the oranges” from our last listening party.  This is a family favorite that I modified from a traditional Korean recipe for “pulgogi” or “bulgogi” I found in a Korean cookbook (in English) geared toward children.   So the instructions in the original recipe are to “have an adult start the charcoal grill.”   If you consider yourself an adult, you may do this yourself.Traditionally, bulgogi is thinly sliced beefsteak that is marinated in a soy-sesame mixture and grilled quickly over charcoal.  The grilled beef is served on a leaf of iceberg or romaine lettuce with a couple of spoonfuls of rice and rolled up.
From: Lou Ann Phelps